Intrigued by the tenuous connection between past, present and future and the shadowy, illusive meaning of time, Annie Woodford makes work that is both haunting and enigmatic. Shifting boundaries between science and metaphysics and an enduring interest in parallel universe theory instill the pieces with a heightened intensity, whilst an obsession with hidden worlds has prompted her investigations into microscopy and the nano universe - making the unseen seen.
Captivated by the natural world and our mysterious, infinite universe - whether seen at macroscopic or microscopic levels - she finds them the source of endless fascination and wonder. Mankind’s place within that universe and the dichotomy between our wish for progress and our proclivity for self-destruction, has become a central theme.
A passion for frozen environments and the message they embrace, not only from the past but also for the future of our planet has resulted in research trips to the Arctic and Iceland and a detailed study of the coldest place on Earth – Antarctica.
The work exhibits qualities that reflect the natural world, elements that highlight its beauty and transience. Fragile, frangible, complex and esoteric, delicately balanced between risk and control, her pieces float and oscillate between absence and presence, hovering silently in a place between.
‘Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere’ Blaise Pascal, mathematician, poet, philosopher.
Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate / RAMPA Istanbul, Turkey
Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate / RAMPA İstanbul, Turkey March 02 — April 07, 2012
Ebru Özseçen combines her experience in the fields of architecture, design and contemporary art to explore different aspects of psychological and sociological relationship between space and body. Her work presents great diversity; ranging from urban intervention to sculpture and objects, from photography to video, from film installations to drawings. The artist is concerned with the dualities of inside/ outside and public/private; and explores individual memory in contemporary society. Ebru Özseçen investigates the seemingly mundane to expose its magical and unseen aspects. She reveals a space where fantasy and memory hide in plain sight.
It is impossible to disregard the gender aspect in Özseçen’s work, in which she indiscriminately plays with the androgynous form – the phallus, vulva, uterus or scrotum. At times pushing the boundaries of pornographic obscenity, the artist always places erotic intensity in the foreground. On the other hand, in many of her works it is possible to see Özseçen driven by her deep-seated admiration for the tradition of artisanship. The artist is drawn to the sensual quality of the form and the beauty of a well-accomplished object. This approach invites us to interpret the artist’s practice from a new perspective. Özseçen’s sharp gaze on the form, and her romantic obsession with the beautiful, the pure, and the unsoiled confront us as sharp yet sensitive, violent yet graceful works that have been refined in the hands of a craftsman.
Özseçen’s new work, Gerçek Aşk Gönül Eşi / True Love Soul Mate (2011), which will constitute the backbone of the exhibition at Rampa, is comprised of over 100 separate glass pieces. This work is realized in collaboration with Mayer of Munich and Glasshütte Lamberts, which are among the most prominent handmade glass studios of the world that has for the first time opened its doors to contemporary arts for this work. Each piece is produced in different sizes and forms with hours of effort in 1450-degree ovens. Recalling many of Özseçen’s work, heat once more emerges as a dominating component in this work, both as a physical force and as an allegory. For this work, the artist divulges that “the concept of true love and soul mate employed in the title should be sought not in the realm of romantic love, but rather in companionship, camaraderie as signified in the craftsman’s delicate touch on the objects he has amorously devoted himself to.” Installing two of her works of the same form together, one from the beginning and the other from the most recent phase of her career, Özseçen incites the audience to trace a playful phantom form.
Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen: Geometrical Evolution / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark March 1-24, 2012
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 3rd, 2pm
Geometric Interpretations Copenhagen Ceramics presents a new exhibition with works by Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen, two highly experienced ceramists with a particularly well-developed sense of operating visually within one of the great fields of inspiration for ornamentation – the world of geometry.
Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen have both repeatedly returned to this inexhaustible source of astonishment and fascination, and for their first exhibition together they offer new and surprising visual interpretations of geometric phenomena.
Karen Bennicke has for many years remained a remarkable profile within the context of contemporary ceramics, in Denmark and internationally. First and foremost, she is a real form-person. Her ceramic objects are typically characterized by a great complexity of form; they are spatial visions, often constructions reminiscent of contemporary architecture. Through self-defined systems and an almost intuitive mathematical construction-method, she arrives at surprising, poetic expressions somewhere between exactitude, the illogical and occasionally even the absurd.
Light and shadow are always important factors in Karen Bennicke’s sculptures. In the new works the choice of material helps to emphasize the multi-faceted surface, that has resulted from her process this time. The unglazed, matt clay surfaces enhance the great variation of light and shadow, bringing to mind the kaleidoscopic universe of crystals; a recurrent theme in her oeuvre, and one she has intensively been working on in recent years.
The precise approach of the textbooks is not defining the relationship with geometry for Steen Ipsen either. He perceives geometry as images and pattern. From the very start of his ceramic career he has had a keen eye for the ornamental potential within the universe of geometric form. Early examples of this are his large porcelain vessels from the 1990ies with strict, repetitively faceted forms, that turn into brightly colored patterns on the surface. In later works he has thematically explored repetition in the form – or the ’variation of repetition’, as was his title for an earlier exhibition.
Tiger Strikes Asteroid is pleased to announce its March 2012 exhibition, Memento, the first solo exhibition by TSA member Jaime Alvarez.
Alvarez’s work explores particular details of icons that function within a larger established structure or ideology. He examines and subverts the idea of memory encapsulated within objects, which share an established history of decorative use.
“In allegory, the vision of the reader is larger than the vision of the text; the reader dreams to an excess, to an overabundance. To read an allegorical narration is to see beyond the relations of narration, character, desire. To read allegory is to live in the future, the anticipation of closure, beyond the closure of narrative.” Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection
Memento is a collection of one hundred framed photographs of second hand souvenirs. The figurines have been painted black, lit, and photographed from the rear or three quarters view, denying the viewer the “familiar” frontal view of the objects. Alvarez’s manipulation liberates the figurines, freeing them of past associations. The once ubiquitous statuettes are transformed into a sublime tableau. The objects speak a completely new language. Imbued with emotion, they become powerful talismans, gazing into the void.
Ceramic Impressions by Judy DiBiase / BDA Dental Museum, London, UK
Ceramic Impressions by Judy DiBiase / BDA Dental Museum, London, UK February 23 - May 24, 2012
Works in porcelain inspired by the collections of the BDA Dental Museum and its visitors.
London based ceramic artist Judy DiBiase has been working with the museum to capture the visitor’s different reactions to the museum’s collections and the memories the objects provoke. These have then provided part of the inspiration for Judy’s own response, in ceramics, to the museum’s collection which can be seen on show in the museum and around the BDA.
"Objects make us think. We think of the time and place when they were used, their purpose and method of use. They evoke memory, acting as a catalyst for a host of experiences that are revived by interaction.
The BDA Dental Museum houses a fantastic and fascinating array of objects that are connected to my memories. My father, David DiBiase was a leading orthodontist; I grew up surrounded by images of teeth. Plaster impressions in green boxes, diagrams and x-rays of displaced incisors and canines. I remember Dad dictating letters and storing dental notes in brown files. Looking at the museum collection my memories become heightened and vivid.
My practice is concerned with how memories can be drawn out by objects. Memories layer to inform an emotional understanding of ourselves and our environment. I have worked with the Museum collection, recording people’s reactions to objects which are connected by the observer to personal incidents and events. My work is exhibited alongside the collections, so taking it out of a traditional art gallery setting.
“The concept of my recent work is about form, and it grows from my curiosity about space; it investigates the relationship between two objects and it questions how we should make the landscape to react to man-made object. In my work I aim to explore that joyful, interesting, and mysterious relationship between objects and to create compositions with complex configurations though simple and unexpected components.
It is my intention to trigger the viewer to look closer and rediscover the ordinary, yet unfamiliar relationships that exists everywhere within all objects and human beings. Through sensations, communication and exploration, both objects and humans are able to obtain appropriate space and attention. I hope my work is able to look into this perception of the relationships, but more importantly - to enrich this relationship and establish a sense of place.” Kwok-Pong Tso
Fine Lines ’12, Jewelry by Yoshiko Yamamoto / Keiko Gallery, Boston, USA
Fine Lines ’12, Jewelry by Yoshiko Yamamoto / Keiko Gallery, Boston, USA March 3 – April 4, 2012
Opening Reception: March 3, 3:00pm — 6:00pm
Since no theme was suggested by the gallery for this exhibition, I fully embraced the freedom to choose my own materials and subject matter.
As I have quite a few collections of copper, monofilament and silver wire, I decided to use the `domestic crafts` of knitting and crocheting to approach the work. The copper wire was already colored and the nylon monofilament was hand-dyed. The 34 gauge colored copper wire has a silky quality that I could treat as soft, fine thread. When tightly crocheted, the material became stiff and I was able to transform its character into a wearable piece. Just like copper wire, monofilament is a marvelous material for knitting and crocheting. The difference is that nylon needs a more taming approach because of its unyielding nature.
I also decided to make jewelry using wire. One reason is that I wanted to create the jewelry / object based on lines. I used very thin fine silver wire coiled up, then flattered and fused into various shapes that became stronger as I worked. The end product was quite an exciting discovery. The gold wire jewelry required a degree of precision. These works are based on the traditional processes and craftsmanship yet the end product is much different than conventional gold work.
The four self-portraits are important to me as it expressed my physical dysfunction at that time. Annoyingly, a pinch wouldn’t allow me to go to my studio, so I was looking at myself with both frustration and hope. These figures are spontaneously depictions of my feelings.
Keiko Gallery is one of the most appreciated art galleries in the US that focuses on Japanese art - from ceramics to the innovative lacquer art, textiles, jewelry and painting. View our special feature on Japanese artists from Keiko Gallery, October 2011.
Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design / MAD Museum, New York
Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design / MAD Museum, New York February 7 - August 12, 2012
MAD (The Museum of Arts and Design) has explored the intersection of traditional or unusual materials and techniques as viewed through the lens of contemporary art and design in a series of exhibitions that include Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting; Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary; Slash: Paper Under the Knife; Dead or Alive: Nature Becomes Art; and Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities.
The next investigation into unusual mediums features an international group of artists whose major materials are dust, ashes, dirt, and sand. Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design will highlight works that deal with issues such as the ephemeral nature of art and life, the quality and content of memory, issues of loss and disintegration, and the detritus of human existence. Sculptures made from ash by Chinese artist Zhang Huan, life-size sculptures of unfired dirt by American artist James Croak, and works created from city smog by American artist Kim Abeles, among others, illustrate the transformative potential of humble, overlooked, and discarded materials.
Swept Away Projects February 28, 2012 - May 14, 2012
An extension of the Swept Away exhibition, Swept Away Projects will include a series of “live” installations occurring during the run of the exhibition that will allow audiences to experience and interact with artists and their site-specific installations made of ash, dust, sand, and dirt. The series includes a dust installation by Croatian Igor Eskinja, a sand installation by German artist Elvira Wersche, and a chalk installation by British artist Linda Florence. In some instances, visitor will actually get to sweep away the installations by walking through and touching them, participating in the ephemeral nature of these artists’ output.
, our new member of the team! Ileana holds a Master’s Degree in Ceramics and is currently a freelance illustration artist interested in the fields of children’s book illustration, comics, character design, and also ceramics.
Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston March 4 - June 3, 2012
New York-based scholars and gallerists Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio have been leaders in the ceramics field for three decades, assembling one of the most important private collections of contemporary ceramics in the world. In 2007, the MFAH acquired the Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection of some 475 artworks, as well as the accompanying library and artist archive.
Shifting Paradigms presents nearly 160 objects—ceramics and works on paper—from this richly diverse collection, which includes major international figures such as Kenjiro Kawai, Jean-Pierre Laroque, Adrian Saxe, Peter Voulkos, and Beatrice Wood, many of whom are represented in depth, as well as examples by Anthony Caro, Lucio Fontana, Claes Oldenburg, and Grayson Perry.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, copublished by the MFAH and Yale University Press.
Generous funding is provided by: Sara and Bill Morgan Friends of Contemporary Ceramics Michael W. Dale The Schissler Foundation The Susan Vaughan Foundation Supporters of Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio
The Shartle Symposium is also presented in conjunction with the exhibition Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection.
"Everyone, even animals and plants, accustoms to new environments and new circumstances as time goes by. In order to understand and get used to a new environment, one only needs time. My previous work was about figuring out my identity, understanding different cultures and establishing myself in new environments (the transition from Korea to America). I am now in a constant process of adjusting new situations as a female artist, a wife and further more - as a mom. I want to present my Korean cultural background through new objects that illustrate the natural and architectural landscape." Hae-Jung Lee
Korean born Haejung Lee received her first Master of Fine Art concentrating on ceramics at Kyung Hee University in South Korea in 2002 and a second master’s degree in ceramics at Louisiana State University in 2008. She has been an Artist-in-residence at The Banff Centre in Canada and at Guldagergård-International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark in 2003 and 2004. She presents her work internationally and has been awarded several remarkable prizes such as best of show, award of distinction, silver prize as well as others in both Korea and USA. In summer 2009 she participated in the 5th World Ceramic Biannual Show Korea (CEBIKO) and directed the exhibition “Affinity” which also included many American ceramic artists.
Welcome and Opening Remarks - Cindi Strauss, MFAH assistant director, programming; curator, modern and contemporary decorative arts and design; organizing curator of the exhibition
Sealed Capsule - Garth Clark, scholar, gallerist, and collector Is the 20th-century ceramics movement over? In the 21st century, is ceramics a fully accepted fine-arts material but no longer an autonomous discipline? If so, is this a good thing? Garth Clark examines a turning point in this millennia-old medium.
On Conscripting Mugs and Other Ceramics into Life’s Battles for Independence - Ezra Shales, associate professor of art history, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University In the field of ceramics, a distinction is often made between “functional” objects and “art” objects—a binary opposition that is both reductive and misleading. Ezra Shales critiques the validity of the term “functional” and investigates how drinking vessels remain key tools in the assertion of one’s identity.
The Well-Wrought Urn - Jenni Sorkin, assistant professor, contemporary art and critical studies, School of Art, University of Houston This talk reconsiders Garth Clark’s groundbreaking exhibition American Ceramics, 1876 to the Present against the backdrop of mid-20th-century formalism, in particular Cleanth Brooks’s The Well-Wrought Urn (1947), Herbert Read’s criticism on modern sculpture, and the Syracuse Annuals exhibition series.
From Postmodernism to Postindustrialism - Jorunn Veiteberg, professor of curatorial studies and craft theory, Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway A re-evaluation of the decorative and a reuse of historical forms were central to ceramics in the 1980s, the key decade of Postmodernism. But what has happened since? Are contemporary ceramics still Postmodern, or have new paradigmatic shifts taken place?
Panel Discussion - Mark Del Vecchio joins the speakers. Moderated by Cindi Strauss.
Reception - The audience is invited to a wine reception with the speakers in the lobby of the Beck Building, and to view the exhibition.
This event is open to the public. Seating is limited. Free with general museum admission. MFAH Members always receive free general admission.
“It seems like I’m always trapped in a style beyond a heterogeneous appearance of my work. It isn’t bad advertising, but if you really want to feel a connection with my works, you need to be patient and to look closely to more than twenty images. And perhaps contrary to my statement, my style wouldn’t be so difficult understand. Everywhere there is a sort of a struggle between fantasy and at least one kind of realism. I also admit that the manner is as important as the idea itself. Some say that the substance of a style is nowadays just a literary, philosophical concern - mostly when it has something to do with the more popular social involvement. I think that someone’s style doesn’t have to be interconnected with anything social and one can always choose to seek for inspiration in its inner self.
As far as I can say at this moment, my experience with ceramics has two aspects (or constraints). First is the period of apprenticeship, which numbers the last year of my high-school and the years in the University of Arts and Design in Cluj. The other one is my collaboration with Wagner Porcelains. If high-school was rather a period of independence - ceramics was a very late decision. The academic years were a continuous fight with a conservatory approach and, sometimes more frustrating, with the lack of technical possibilities. With Wagner, the limitations went only in the commercial direction. Despite all of this, I totally agree with (some) constraints, which can provide a wide range of surprising solutions.
My porcelain works have a high decorative touch, more in the sense of fashion with all its aspects. Collages and technical varieties are also present in my work, replacing the limitation of the material. With Wagner I only work with white porcelain, though adding my pictures. I am not trying to follow any precise trend, nor Romanian or International; I am only constantly paying attention to everything interesting and meaningful around me.” Bogdan Teodorescu